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5 Business Tips from Rick Fickhesen of Kissed By The Sun Spice Company

Kissed By The Sun Spice Company was born on the sandy shores of the British Virgin Islands.

That’s where Liz and husband Rick Sr. were on their honeymoon over 25 years ago. After being introduced to a fish head stew recipe made from local herbs and spices, Kissed By The Sun’s best selling Seasoned Sea Salt blend was born.

In the years to follow Liz and Rick Sr. would continue to craft flavorful assortments of spices using all natural and organic ingredients much like the ones first discovered on the tiny island all out of their home in Amherst.

As a mother of 5 children owner Liz stays hard at work crafting new blends all while doing what she does best – being a Mom. Her son, also named Rick, naturally became part of the business and began helping out his parents with Kissed By The Sun when he was just 6 years old.

Rick, who is also our Director of Sales at Step Out Buffalo, began managing all the branding, advertising, and marketing efforts of Kissed By The Sun in 2013. Today Kissed By The Sun currently attends over 100 festivals throughout the year, has a eCommerce store that sells across the country, and in 2019 sold over 35,000 bottles of their all purpose seasoning blends.

Taking a brand from the 80’s into the 2000’s is no easy task, and Rick has been able to not only create a solid social media presence and successful web store for Kissed By The Sun but to also create innovative ways of marketing the brand virtually, from influencer collaborations to fun recipe videos.

We asked Rick to share some of his top business tips, here’s what he had to say:

1. Learning Design & Photography Will Totally Speed Up Any Project

“For the first few years of building the Kissed By The Sun brand I outsourced much of our design and photography work to local or UpWork freelancers. This was a great place to start as I certainly lacked the know how to do it right, plus had other things to focus on. Not only that you can find some really great freelancers at an affordable price for all types of projects.

All that being said as I needed projects turned around more quickly I found that making the time investment of learning how to do design and photography ended up being a huge time and money saver. Signs, social ads, banners, order inserts, photos (the list goes on and on) are all things that we now do in house and can be protizied on our schedule – not someone else’s. While it may take time the investment will pay off. Apps like Canva are great and you can take photoshop classes on places like Skillshare.”

2. Go Beyond Youtube For Learning

“YouTube is great place to learn different skills – whether it’s marketing tips, how to set up Facebook advertisements, learning how to build websites etc. However, finding a good teacher or video can sometimes be difficult on YouTube.

I encourage any business owner to check out different learning sources or tutorials. Skillshare for example is a great resource where creators will offer different classes on a wide array of subjects that go far beyond a 10 minute YouTube video. I learned how to edits videos for example by taking a 6 hour class on Skillshare that was broken into 10 sections that I could spend time on then revisit. They have in depth tutorials on about any subject – certainly worth checking out.”

3. Email Marketing Is Awesome

“While social media is a great way to reach existing or new clients the landscape is always changing. By building your subscriber list it’s great way to build an audience that is truly “all yours” and it is where we see the best ROI in terms of online sales. I use Mailchimp which is super easy to use with lots of design templates.”

PS: Want tips on how to send great emails that help improve your ROI? Check out our articles, You’ve Got Mail: A Beginners Guide To Email Marketing In 5 Easy Steps and How To Send Great Emails That Boost Your ROI!

4. Provide Value

“For any business or service being successful comes down to how your brand can provide value. Understanding this, especially when it comes to marketing your business, is key. We could have the most delicious spice blends on the planet earth (which I think we do) however when positioning your brand to potential customers it has to be about the value your product can provide, not about the product itself.

– What Won’t Work: Kissed By The Sun Are The Best Spices

– What Will Work: Our Spices Can Help You Make Bland Meals More Enjoyable

It is a subtle but important difference. Whenever crafting a marketing campaign think about the message and how you can provide value.”

5. Be Patient and Set Manageable Goals

“This was probably the most difficult for myself and I know probably is for a lot business owners. If you’re an entrepreneur you have lots of big ideas and want to make them happen – fast! I can’t count the amount of times I was frustrated that a big picture project or benchmark did happen as quickly as I wanted it to.

The reality is that nothing truly successful happens overnight. Setting manageable goals is key and will really help in getting to you where you want to be.”

Kissed By The Sun Spice Company:





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At Step Out Buffalo, we help businesses promote themselves and their events on our website, email, and social media channels. Our team is comprised of experts who know exactly how to make your business or event stand out, and we’ll put you in all the right places so you get noticed by all the right people. Hit us up if you’d like to learn more about our business and/or events-based promotions – there’s a reason 94% of our readers go places they’ve seen on

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Step Out Buffalo Business

Step Out Buffalo Business is a business focused publication featuring tips and tricks for entrepreneurs and small business people in Buffalo & Western New York. We write what we know and when we don't know, we ask an expert in the field. We've gained our knowledge through experience growing businesses in various industries.

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